Chesham and Amersham by-election result
I called it wrong. My view, up to the morning of the by-election, was that the Conservative Party would hang on, though probably with a smallish majority. After all, even in the Labour landslide (perceived landslide, at least) of 1997, the Con vote in the constituency topped 50%, and the expenses-blodging of the Con MP made no difference at all in 2010 (60.4%).
Yesterday, during the day of the by-election, I saw from news and tweets that the LibDems were showing strongly, but I still did not think that, on balance, they could dislodge the Conservatives, who had held the seat with ease since its creation in 1974.
I was not alone in guessing at a likely successful Con defence. Here was the Chief Political Correspondent of the Financial Times, tweeting only yesterday afternoon…
…and that tweet was retweeted by Britain Elects [@BritainElects].
Now we know. The LibDem vote-share more than doubled to 56.7%. The Con vote slumped to 35.5% (from 55.4% in 2019).
The Green Party candidate managed third place, though losing her deposit; she scored 3.9%, poor compared to 2019’s 5.5%.
The Labour Party lost its deposit for the first time in the history of the constituency, scoring only 1.6% (compared to 12.9% in 2019). Only 622 votes, on a turnout of over 38,000.
Of the remaining four candidates, only Reform Party, the lame-duck successor to Brexit Party, scored above 1% (1.1%). Breakthrough Party 0.5%; Freedom Alliance 0.4% and, very much “tail-end Charlie”, Rejoin EU (0.3%). The last’s candidate, one-time Foreign Office man (and 1990s Con MEP) Brendan Donnelly, had made what must surely have been the least-convincing argument to the voters, i.e. that nothing could be done to help Chesham and Amersham people until the UK rejoined the EU!
My thoughts on the by-election, now that the results are known? First, of course, that this was the convergence of several factors such as, most importantly, the prevalence of tactical voting.
Former or otherwise Labour and Green voters seem to have taken the view that their preferred candidate was not going to win, and so they voted LibDem as the least-worse of the two main options.
Local factors (the usual LibDem strong suit) played a part: the trashing of the Green Belt by the present “Borshch Belt” government; the subservience of the “Conservative” government to the big housebuilding companies and their featureless tracts of expensive but unaesthetic housing; the continuing of the pointless and vandalistic HS2 rail project.
Turnout was low, about 52% (two-thirds of that of the 2019 General Election). Many former Conservative voters, perhaps angry at the HS2 situation, and/or the Con plans to build on the local Green Belt, seem to have stayed home.
My main interest in the by-election was to see how far Labour would slump. I correctly predicted from the start that Labour would lose its deposit, but I had envisaged a vote-share of just below 5%, not one well below 2%!
I suppose that Labour officials will be saying that Labour voters simply “lent their votes” to the LibDems, tactically. Some truth in that, of course, but for me the story is that Labour is very much on the way out now, and is perceived as a niche party rather than as an alternative government.
The Labour lost deposit in Chesham and Amersham will quicken interest in how Labour will do in the other by-election, at Batley and Spen, which is set down for 1 July 2021 (Thursday week). I have already blogged about that contest: https://ianrobertmillard.org/2021/06/04/the-batley-and-spen-by-election-2021/.
The result at Chesham and Amersham certainly reinforces the view that Labour has nothing at all to offer most English people, and that most English people are alert to that fact.
I have blogged fairly prolifically about Labour’s loss of a role and a purpose in the post-1989 space. What is extraordinary is that Labour’s remaining supporters do not see what is in front of their eyes. For them, there are two main System parties, and Labour is one of them, and all they need to do is wait until the pendulum swings back their way.
In reality, Labour has lost Scotland forever, and any “Independence” (however defined) will mean that Labour would not even be able to form a UK coalition or minority government with SNP support. The 59 Scottish seats are vital.
The breakdown of the old Labour-voting industrial communities in the North and Midlands, and in Wales, leaves Labour like a spare guest at a festivity.
One could imagine that a charismatic Labour leader with real ideas might be able to reinvent Labour, perhaps along the lines of Blue Labour [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_Labour], a kind of very watered-down “national socialism” in an English context.
There is no sign at present that Labour can do that. Jewish-lobby puppet Keir Starmer is as dull as ditchwater, and has no interesting ideas at all politically or socially, like most barristers. Corbyn got halfway there, despite being not too intelligent and being almost uneducated.
Corbyn was too weak on the Jewish Question or “JQ”, while Starmer is just a complete puppet. Both also subscribe to the pathetic “Black Lives Matter” nonsense. Starmer was photographed on his knee, with Angela Rayner, displaying fealty to the nonsense. At least Boris-idiot has not done that!
Labour is now basically a party for some ethnic minorities, for some NHS and other public service employees, and for the sort of unthinking pseudo-“socialists” found on Twitter.
Of course, the LibDems will claim that this is the moment for their next big upsurge. Doubtful. The LibDems are currently polling, with the Greens, somewhere around 7%. The LibDems, and before them their ancestor-party, the Liberals, did this: have a big by-election success, followed by nothing very much. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1962_Orpington_by-election; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1958_Torrington_by-election; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1990_Eastbourne_by-election.
Could there be similar upsets? I suppose so, if there is dissatisfaction with the Conservatives, a by-election, and a seat where there is a strong LibDem presence but also where Labour and others have no real chance of success. However, I doubt that the LibDems are really reviving across the board.
Ha ha! The sort of unthinking nonsense one would expect from that sort of creature. She managed to get to the age of about 30 without ever having had a job, after which she got in on the old “anti-racism” and local councillor freebie system. She is presently awaiting trial on a serious charge…”Vote Labour!”(if you are an idiot!)… [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claudia_Webbe].
Incidentally, people might like to look at other deadhead MPs I have highlighted. Here is one (now removed from Parliament and living on the dole): https://ianrobertmillard.org/2018/12/21/deadhead-mps-an-occasional-series-the-fiona-onasanya-story/.
Before the 2017 and 2019 general elections, several people (not markedly “extreme”) remarked to me that Corbyn seemed to be “surrounded everywhere he goes by a gaggle of black women”.
What is missing from the comments is that only those with documentary proof of recent vaccination etc can attend this year: https://www.ascot.co.uk/royal-ascot/plan-your-day-2021.
…and those masks take up to 450 years to break down into their constituent elements.
Refer to my comments made above in the blog today…